She’s got some big shoes to fill, to say the least. With the departure of Diane Kline as the Oakdale High School girls water polo coach following the 2018 campaign, Megan Tackett will be taking over as new head coach for the 2019 season. Tackett is a 2013 Oakdale High School graduate and she played the sport all four years in high school, joining the varsity team her sophomore year. During her time with Oakdale she was an attacker.
It is a great position and I got great satisfaction after beating the other girl on the other team getting the ball to start the game,” she explained.
After graduating from OHS, Tackett went on to play water polo at San Joaquin Delta College. She has been coaching the Oakdale High School junior varsity girls team the last four seasons.
“Coach Kline is an amazing mentor, friend and coach. It is such a huge honor to be the one to try and follow her and coach this team,” said Tackett.
When Kline announced that she was resigning, Tackett wanted an opportunity to be the one to replace her in the varsity role. So last season she watched the varsity team closely and studied Kline to learn more about her as a coach.
“I wanted to learn from her, even more so as to how she coaches. So last season I attended her games and really learned a lot. Since she left, we speak almost every day. She said that if I ever have any questions that she will help me in anyway. I cannot stress how amazing Diane is,” Tackett said.
The new varsity coach, however, said she is prepared and eager to take the reins. As she coaches for the USA Olympic Development Team, she has worked with many of the varsity players.
“I am excited to get the season going. We have so many talented young players. I am excited to see them in the pool and to get this season started,” she said.
Tackett also wants this team to have a physical presence in the pool.
“I don’t want this team to quit; I want this team to be focused and determined, and to be physical,” she explained. “I don’t coach to win games, I coach winners. I want them to have courage, determination and be aggressive.”
Tackett will have an experienced team, as they all have over two years of experience in water polo. She has high expectations for this team as well.
“I’m excited for league play to start. I am very excited for playoffs and sections. I have high expectations for this program. I am a very competitve person and I want my girls to compete at a high level,” Tackett noted. “We work out very early in the morning and put in too many hours to fail. I’m truly pumped for the season to start.”